The IMF has an exceptionally large program of technical assistance to the PA which involves several IMF departments.
Technical assistance from the Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD) to the PA, including the provision for long-term experts, is geared to help the PA in establishing a modern revenue administration and an efficient public expenditure management system. FAD missions have advised the PA on a wide range of issues, including the organization and setting up of tax departments and the coordination of tax issues with the Israeli authorities. In this connection, a resident advisor on tax administration was assigned to the Ministry of Finance since August 1995 and another expert was appointed in January 1997 to assist in computerizing the revenue administration.
On public expenditure management, FAD has recommended steps to improve budget execution and expenditure management, enhance expenditure control and audit, and strengthen cash management. FAD has, recently, also assisted in the implementation of a government financial management information system (GFMIS). In this regard, an expert has been assigned to the Ministry of Finance since June 1996. Furthermore, a budget advisor commenced work in early November. A mission to review the pension system and make recommendations for reform took place in November.
Building on the technical assistance work of FAD, and in response to donors’ requests, the Middle Eastern Department (MED) has been assisting the PA with reporting on revenue and expenditure developments and progress in institution building in the fiscal area, in the context of the Ad-Hoc Liaison Committee and the Consultative Group meetings, and with budget formulation in the context of a medium-term macroeconomic framework.
The Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department (MAE) has been assisting the PMA on (i) organization and management issues associated with the establishment of the PMA; (ii) bank licensing and supervision; (iii) the clearing and payments system; (iv) foreign exchange management; and (v) the drafting of appropriate banking legislation. The MAE is currently providing technical assistance through periodic missions and through two resident experts in the areas of bank supervision and information technology.
The Legal Department (LEG), in coordination with MAE, has assisted the PA in the preparation of a draft law for the PMA, which defines its basic purposes and goals, and in the preparation of the draft banking law. The Statistics Department (STA) has been assisting the PA in the area of monetary statistics, and will be providing assistance in the areas of balance of payments statistics and national income accounts. The IMF Institute (INS) has been offering training courses to Palestinian officials, both at headquarters and in the field.